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Copy rights act amendment, Intellectual Property and Hindi cinema

December 23, 2010 05:20:50 PM IST
Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
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The battle that Jawed Akhtar started, of protecting the intellectual property rights of the song writer, the screen play writer seems to have been partially won by him for the writers as the Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal has ruled that intellectual property rights should be in favor of the creator and not those who buy it. But the producers seem hell bent on spoiling the party as they have decided to protest in front of the parliament on 06 January 2011. The protest on part of the producers seems to be absurd as it is the song writers and the script writers who make the film a success, they lay the foundation stone as also create the publicity material for success of the film.

Salim Khan, the other half of the Jawed duo in interesting revelations in one of the interviews had said that they were primarily responsible for giving the writers their due desserts. To buttress home the point, he informed during the course of the interview that when SHOLAY was released and their name as script writers was not included in the posters of the film, they hired a stencil maker and got their names stenciled on nearly all the film posters that were pasted in Mumbai. It is owing to this kind of commitment that the fight that started way back in 1970s seems to be veneering, justifiably towards the writers.

The fact that it has taken such a long time for it to happen indicates the value and importance that we give to the Intellectual Property Rights, after all it indeed is an intellectual property right that a writer creates, and he alone should be the custodian of the knowledge and nobody else should be allowed to be a co-owner. Presently, it is the music company that purchases the music rights of the work, claims major share on the profit, and the writer gets only a pittance. The amendment to the act has correctly pointed out that when the song is used for commercial purposes as it is done in stage shows, or as downloadable ringtones, then why the writer should not be given a share in the profit as well.

The government should not succumb to the pressure that may be created by the demonstration of the producers, as then India would not be able to argue its case of protecting intellectual property rights in foreign countries as the foreign countries would always advise India to set its own in order. May be, therefore, the government need to deal this issue with firmness.

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